Saturday, August 09, 2008


First, no word yet on adopting the dog. Silence there.

Second, my daughter (and I) just found out her grandmother (my ex-mother-in-law) has Alzheimer's. No one told the grandkids. Don't ask me why. My daughter is scrambling to find a way to go visit her grandmother before classes start in the fall. And furious that no one told her sooner. The family seems surprised she thinks it's a big deal or that she wants to come and see her grandmother NOW.

Silences. No matter what the reason, silences hurt. It's too easy to misunderstand why no one spoke or shared information. It's upsetting not to be given the option to act—because one didn't know what was going on.

Silences hurt when no one tells about abuse.

Silences hurt when there is a secret that keeps someone from helping or spending time with a person who is slipping away.

Silences hurt when no one knows why.

Silences hurt even when no harm is meant.

It's easy to recognize the silences that hurt US. The greater challenge is to recognize those silences on our part that may hurt others. Sometimes we think it's a kindness. Or we're afraid we'll say the wrong thing. Or maybe we just feel overwhelmed.

This week has been a reminder for me that regardless of our reasons, silences can hurt. Sometimes silences ARE necessary. I know that all too well. It's just good to be consciously aware of the choices we make and the potential pitfalls when it comes to silences.

Here's hoping there are no hurtful silences in your lives now or ever again. Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),



Karma said...

I'm so sorry for your daughter. I of all people understand how difficult it is to lose someone to Alzheimer's. My family leaves a lot unsaid -- there are man silences, and they are always hurtful.

This post inspires me to write a post.

Kahless said...

April, this is SO true; silences can cut to the core. And I like the way you have reminded us to look at our own behaviour too.

gypsy-heart said...

Silence is paradoxical can be a place for renewing energies and finding our way "home." Yet, it can be a place that screams of emptiness and pain.

I hope your daughter's journey to see her Grandmother will be one that leaves her with peace of heart.

Peace of heart to you too, my friend!

Ps If it doesn't work out with this dog then the "guru dog" for you will come when it is the time. :)

Perfect said...

You are so right and I have to unfortunately admit that I am guilty of inflicting painful silences on others as well as hurting myself through my own silence when I should be reaching out. Thanks for the reminder to be conscious of it.

keepers said...

You are so right, silences can be debilitating and often were. We were so conditioned to being silent that when we finally spoke out everyone jumped back and stayed back, didn't want anything to do with us anymore, but we can look ourselves in the eye and be proud. Silence can be right or it can be damning.

peace and blessings


jumpinginpuddles said...

we are learnign to not be so lient good blog once again so true.

April_optimist said...

Karma, Thank you. I'll come check out your post.

Kahless, Thank you.

Gypsy-Heart, I think the key is to be as mindful as we can be about our silences and put ourselves in the other person's shoes.

Perfect, It's understandable that silences are our "default" setting. How else could it be given our childhoods? But we can learn new ways of handling situations.

Keepers, Yes, exactly. It's hard learning new approaches but so empowering too.

Jumping in Puddles, Thank you.